SUMMER CAMP 2020 FAQ

Potassium Iodide (KI) Distribution

Potassium Iodide resources

Check out the video below for what you need to know for summer camp this year!

 

Will Project Oceanology be allowed to run summer camps this summer?

Project Oceanology is licensed by the State of Connecticut Office of Early Childhood Education (CT-OEC) as a Summer Residential and Day Youth Camp and is committed to meet (and go above and beyond) all relevant guidelines from CT-OEC and from the CDC to keep our campers safe. On Monday, May 18, the State Office of Early Childhood announced that CT summer camps can open as of June 22, 2020, with new health and safety guidelines for best practices against COVID-19.  However, overnight camps in CT will not be allowed to open for summer 2020. Project Oceanology will be working closely with CT-OEC to make sure we are following best practices. 

Will Residential Camps be happening?

Overnight camps in CT will not be allowed to open for summer 2020. Project O has offered overnight camp for almost 2 decades and we are feeling very out-of-sorts!  We are sad for every returning camper who has made Project O part of their extended family and those who were "testing the waters" for the first time.  Please assure your camper this is a blip on the radar screen and we are already dreaming of summer 2021!

Will Partnership Camps (with NESS, Mystic Aquarium, and Mystic Seaport) be happening?

Due to recent state regulations, our Partnership camps with Mystic Seaport, Mystic Aquarium, and NESS are canceled this summer.

Do you offer any virtual camps? 

In addition to our 4 Day Camps, we will be offering 2 Virtual Camps: Research Experience at Home and Explorer Academy at Home. More information about these two camps can be found here

Why choose Project Oceanology? 

Project Oceanology is working hard to plan a fun and healthy summer!  Our mission for summer 2020 is to get kids outside and away from their devices for a week of fun on the water.  We know that children who spend time outdoors are healthier and stronger, with stronger immune systems, lower stress, and longer attention spans.  We are working closely with our camp physician, the camp community, and the state of CT to ensure a safe and healthy environment at our summer camps. Many aspects of our camp already allow for safe practices. Our shoreline studies take us to mile-long beaches and marshes, with plenty of room to explore. Small camp sizes also mean that we can share ideas without sharing equipment! Aboard our vessels, we make full use of deck space… and gulps of fresh sea air.

How do I register my camper?

Please visit oceanology.org/summer-camps

What is the deposit policy?

A 25% non-refundable deposit is normally required to register for camp. Campers approved for full tuition assistance are not required to provide a deposit; campers approved for partial tuition assistance must provide the balance of the tuition up to 25% as a deposit. The balance of any tuition is due prior to the camp start date.

What is the cancellation policy?

Cancellations made up to 30 days prior to the start of camp will receive a refund of camp cost less the deposit.  No refund will be given if canceled within 30 days of camp. Individuals who have commenced camp and withdraw prior to the end of camp for any reason and individuals who are dismissed from camp for violating any of the enrollment policies listed above or other applicable camp rules are not eligible for a refund of any portion of the tuition paid.

Is tuition assistance available?

Tuition assistance is available. The application can be found here.

Who is the staff? What are the staff qualifications?

Staff may include both Marine Science Educators and Marine Education Interns. All Marine Educators have degrees in  Marine Science or related fields. Marine Education Interns are current college students completing undergraduate studies in marine and/or environmental science. All staff is American Heart First Aid/CPR/AED certified. All camps are licensed by the Connecticut Office of Early Childhood-Division of Licensing. Licensed Captains operate Coast Guard inspected vessels.

Are the summer camp staff background checked?

Yes, all the camp staff are fingerprinted for state background checks. Boat captains and deck crew for any of the Project Oceanology vessels are also part of a random drug pool testing per U.S. Coast Guard requirements.

Does Project Oceanology provide transportation?

Project Oceanology is not able to provide transportation to or from camp.

How can I find out more information about Potassium Iodide (KI) distribution?

Click here to proceed to the CT.gov website for Emergency Preparedness

Click here for the Potassium Iodide (KI) in CT Fact Sheet PDF

What if my child has a special need?

Project Oceanology staff has extensive experience working with students of all abilities. Reasonable accommodations will be made as necessary; however each camper is unique in their needs. You may contact Project Oceanology to arrange a meeting prior to the start of camp to discuss your child's individual needs and/or accommodations.

Is there a waiting list for all sessions that are full?

Yes, waiting lists are kept for all camp sessions. If you apply to a session that is already full, we will automatically enter your camper's name on the list. You will be notified if a space becomes available.

How will my camp keep me updated with any changes or new information?

Parents and guardians will be notified through email with any changes or new information. Our staff and camp directors can always be contacted directly. Contact information will be provided in the Camper Handbook.

What occurs during inclement weather?

Project Oceanology prides itself on getting campers outside to study their natural environment and we don’t let a little rain stop us! Please plan accordingly based on the weather forecast. During times of heavy rain, lightning, or thunder, alternative programming will be conducted inside the labs and/or classrooms.  Our facility is large and camp sizes are small which allows ample space for each camp to have its own lab, classroom and bathrooms and social distance within each space.

Can my camper receive academic credit for participating in camp?

Project Oceanology does not provide academic credit for participating in camp.

I understand that you take pictures during the camp. Where do I find them and does Project Oceanology use them?

Project Oceanology staff take pictures throughout your camper's session to be shared at the end-of-camp ceremony. These pictures are posted on the Project Oceanology Facebook page, where you can download any pictures you wish.

What camp forms are required? (All forms will be provided after registration)

Health Exam and Immunization Record / Health Form Waiver COVID19

OEC COVID-19 Informed Consent

Pre Camp Health Screening 

Asthma Action Plan 

EPI-Pen Emergency

Health Care Plan  

Self Administration of Medication 

Individual Plan of Care

Permission to Walk/Bike to Camp

What extra steps will Project Oceanology take to ensure proper sanitation during camps?

This will be an ongoing conversation but will include an increased deep cleaning of all areas of use, self serve sanitization stations, health and safety signage and instructions for campers, and revised daily activities to incorporate CDC and CT-OEC recommendations, etc. Hand and Respiratory hygiene and social distancing instruction will be added to the Camper Handbook for discussion prior to camp, reinforced at the start of camp and supervised during camp

Are face masks required?

Staff is required to wear a face mask/covering. Campers are not required to wear a face mask/covering but are encouraged to do so or have one with them. Each camper will receive a lightweight buff on the first day of camp.

I can’t bring my child into her/his doctor for a camp physical - what should I do?

During this declared state of emergency, the OEC has stated: Children that have been attending school (temporarily closed due to COVID 19) with Health and Immunization records on file at school (and/or submitted for camp last year) do not have to submit a new form this year. Parents can send us a copy of the last health exam/immunization record completed by your child's physician between 2017 & 2019.  In addition, parents can attest in writing that the child is up-to-date with their physical examination and immunizations and provides information regarding any disabilities and/or special health care needs. 

Can you tell me about your medical staff?  What are their qualifications?

- All camp staff are American Heart First Aid/CPR/AED certified

- All camp staff are certified in the self-administration of medication and Epi-Pen

- Our on-call youth camp physician is part of the Hartford HealthCare Medical Group and provides the planning of emergency care, supervision of camp health staff and reviews our health care procedures and weekly first aid camp logs

What size groups will campers be in? Will they mix with other campers throughout the camp session?

Each camp session will have a maximum of 12 campers. Camps will not interact; check-in, meals, and activities will be separate.

How will you reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission between campers?

We ask that you check on the health of your camper daily beginning 14 days prior to camp. The best camp sessions start with healthy campers and this begins at home. We will offer frequent opportunities for hand-washing (indoors) and hand sanitization (outdoors in the field).  Campers will be required to wash or sanitize their hands before and after eating, and after touching any shared items or surfaces.  Each camper will be provided with their own life jacket and basic scientific supplies (pencils, markers, notebook, etc). Each day of camp consists of ample time outdoors working from an outdoor classroom space, the shore and aboard our boats.  Campers will enjoy their bag lunch outside daily, as long as weather permits. 

How will you keep groups of campers separate?

Each group of ten campers will be kept completely separate from other campers from the time they are dropped off in the morning, to the time they are picked up in the afternoon.  Each camp will have its own outdoor check-in area, its own dedicated skiff(s), its own set of science gear, and (in case of inclement weather) its own dedicated indoor lab space large enough to allow for social distancing between 10 campers. Each camp will also have its own bathrooms and a dedicated entrance to the building.

What other resources do you suggest we follow?

Check out this piece from the National Association of School Psychologists who published “Talking to Children about COVID-19 (Coronavirus): A Parent Resource"

How will campers be screened for COVID-19 during check-in

Each camp will have a dedicated outdoor check-in area.  Parents and campers must remain in their vehicle until it is their turn for the wellness check-in screening.  While campers are still in the vehicle, a Project O staff member wearing PPE will perform a COVID-19 symptom screening by asking a series of health questions and using a no-touch thermometer to take the temperature of the camper.  Temperature must be below 100 degrees Fahrenheit. This screening process will take place in the campers' vehicle and it will occur daily. If you have a temporal thermometer of your own, we ask that you bring it and take your child’s temperature yourself in front of the Project O staff member.  If you do not have one, the Project O staff member will approach the vehicle to take the temperature.  If campers are symptom-free, they may exit the vehicle and check in to camp!  If a camper does not pass the morning health screening, they will not be allowed to attend camp and must be tested for COVID-19. If a camper develops any symptoms while at camp, they must remain in a designated quarantine area until arrangements can be made for them to leave.

How do I get in touch with you?

You can email us at projecto@oceanology.org if you have any further questions or would like to discuss anything with a staff member. 

What if my child is traveling from out of state?

We feel very fortunate to be able to offer summer day camp programs this year considering the pandemic crisis upon us. Team Project O has worked tirelessly to establish and maintain the safest and best practices for our camps and we are proud of that effort.  As the CDC and the State of CT guidelines change to react to this crisis, our focus remains consistent: Continue to make the safest and best choices for our camp environment. In keeping with that protocol, campers from the high risk states listed on the CT Travel Advisory will have to forgo camp at Project O this year.  Please check the CT Travel Advisory website before registering your camper as it is updated as soon as a change occurs.  While this new policy goes beyond the state requirement of a 14 day self quarantine, this decision is recommended and supported by our camp physician of record and is simply the right decision for our camps. 

If you have any questions regarding this policy or any other requirements to attend camp at Project O, please email us at projecto@oceanology.org or call us M - F, 8:30 - 4:30pm at 800.364.8472

Does my child need vaccinations to attend camp?

The following vaccinations are required to attend summer camp at Project O:

MMR (Measles, Mumps, Rubella), Tdap (Tetanus, Diphtheria, Pertussis), Varicella (Chickenpox), Hepatitis A & B, Meningococcal (grades 7+) and Polio.  There are NO exemptions for the required vaccinations.

 

Our vaccination policy is a result of continual education and guidelines from:

- The Center of Disease Control 

- State of CT Department of Public Health (Vaccination in the Camp Setting)

- State of CT Office of Early Childhood (Vaccination Schedule)

- Recommendations from our camp physician 

It is our responsibility as a licensed youth camp to make the safest and best decisions not only for our campers and their families but also the Project O staff and their families. Our camp community is large and includes: 

- Infants and children (siblings of campers and staff children) who are not old enough to have the necessary vaccines or the established immune system to safeguard them against these communicable diseases

- Pregnant women and their unborn child

- Children and Adults with weakened immune systems (cancer patients, type 1 diabetics and many others) even if fully vaccinated don't have immune protection to fight infections

- Adults 50+:  Vaccines given as a child can weaken over time and diseases like Varicella (chickenpox) turn into Shingles or worse for older adults 

Taking these factors and more into consideration, requiring vaccinations is a necessary component to a healthy camp.  These vaccination requirements also pertain to our camp staff and other Project Oceanology employees.

Where are your check-in locations?

Each camp will have its own check-in site, as shown on the map below. Your corresponding site will be provided after registration. 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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1084 Shennecossett Rd. Groton, CT 06340